Our Lady of Grace Montessori School kicked off its 50th anniversary year with a celebration on Jan. 22 at the school for all its students from nursery to third grade. Blue- and white-clad students made necklace and crown crafts with the school logo on them, ate ice cream and sang “Happy Birthday” to their school.
“Music is a big part of our curriculum,” said teacher Kathy Connolly. “So many people have made up songs about Our Lady of Grace and the kids sang them. It was adorable. The whole school sang. The enthusiasm is amazing.”
Throughout the day, kids enjoyed doing things involving the number 50 including 50-piece puzzles or hitting a balloon back and forth 50 times.
“50 years is a significant amount of time,” said Principal Sister Kelly Quinn. “It’s exciting. This school opened with three sisters and 20 children and just to think this morning, getting ready, that 50 years ago on Jan. 22, this school was opening and just how far we’ve come and the spirit remains the same. People are so enthusiastic to send their own children now. We have graduates who send their children.”
Our Lady of Grace Montessori School was originally the stables of the estate, but was later renovated to educate the 20 students that first attended the school. Today, the school has 153 students from nursery to third grade with a 1:10 teacher-to-student ratio.
“I had anticipation and enthusiasm coming in today that we were going to be celebrating 50 years so I can only imagine how they felt 50 years ago,” said Connolly. “I was just feeling what they must have been feeling looking down the driveway waiting for the first children. But the excitement, enthusiasm and joy that they felt—we still carry on the tradition and the feeling today.”
Students wrote down their favorite thing about Our Lady of Grace to be buried in a time capsule on March 23 and painted rocks that will cover the area where the time capsule will be buried to create a colorful rock garden. Continuing the 50th anniversary celebration, Our Lady of Grace will hold a party for its alumni and current families on April 13 at De Seversky Mansion in Glen Head.
For more information, visit www.olgmanhasset.com.